Stevenage has highest rate of crime in county but police say they’re working hard to tackle it

Neighbourhood Inspector Simon Tabert says crime rates have risen across the county.

Neighbourhood Inspector Simon Tabert says crime rates have risen across the county. - Credit: Archant

Stevenage has the highest rate of crime out of all areas in Hertfordshire, the latest figures show.

In the year ending September 2017, there were an average of 98.28 crimes for every 1,000 people in the town.

The next worst area was Watford with 95.30 crimes per 1,000. This compares with 46.85 crimes per 1,000 people in the Three Rivers area.

Stevenage also had the highest number of violent and sexual offences in the county with 33.45 per 1,000 people over the past year.

The town has the most drug-related crime in Hertfordshire with 4.17 drug crimes per 1,000 people in the year ending September 2017. This compares to St Albans with the lowest levels of drug crime at 1.45 per 1,000 people.

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It comes sixth in the county for vehicle crime however, with just 6.27 crimes per 1,000 and the lowest in the county for burglary with 4.86 per 1,000.

In 2017 Stevenage also had the lowest increase in crime compared to any other area of Hertfordshire. This equates to an additional 500 crimes recorded across all crime types since April 2017.

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Neighbourhood Inspector Simon Tabert told the Comet the crime rate in Stevenage is on a par with similar built up urban areas such as Watford.

He said: “Across the country crime has risen and Hertfordshire is part of that trend hence the huge effort being made to understand demand and deploy front-line resources where they are most needed and can work to best effect.

“Some of the rise can be attributed to people having more confidence to contact police as well as improvements to crime recording processes.”

He said drug-related crime which is so prevalent in Stevenage is one of the key policing priorities in the town and regular operations are carried out to tackle it adding that the force has arrested and convicted drug dealers over the past year and also make use of closure orders to shut down problem premises as well as making efforts to steer drug users towards treatment which helps to prevent them continuing their life of crime.

Of knife crime which continues to be an issue for the town, he said: “In recent months we have quickly investigated, identified, charged and in some cases locked up suspects for every serious assault in which a knife was used.”

North Hertforshire fares much better than Stevenage in the overall crime figures, it comes eighth out of 10 areas in the county for numbers of crimes with 53.63 crimes per 1,000 people in the year ending September 2017.

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